Over the last few months, we started inviting our State Legislators to take a tour of the food bank or one of our agencies within their district. Here’s our first roundup of those who were able to participate!
State Representative Amy Mercado
State Representative Mercado visited our Orlando facility for the first time in mid-October and was instantly taken by the enormous warehouse we have on-site. She was impressed by our ability to respond quickly to disasters. In the months after Hurricane Irma and Maria, Second Harvest distributed an estimated 3.7 million pounds of additional food to the community.
State Representative Bobby Olszewski
State Representative “Bobby O” has been a community leader for years and has seen our great work but never found his way to our facility in Orlando. Barely halfway through the tour, Rep. Olszewski gave a few potential legislative opportunities that could be pursued and how he could help shorten the line in Central Florida. He was excited to hear about our culinary and distribution center training programs and the better than minimum wage positions our graduates hold right after finishing their courses. His big take away was the incredible economic impact we provide to the Central Florida community – $187 million every year!
State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith
Like most people who first visit the food bank, Rep. Smith was amazed by the sheer number of programs we have in the community and the impact we have on Central Florida. Rep. Smith’s district is located in East Orange County and includes the University of Central Florida. We gave him an update on the partnership we have with the Knights Helping Knights (KHK) pantry. Recently, KHK was able to receive a brand new commercial refrigerator through one of our grants. Because of the new refrigerator, they’ve been able to distribute healthier foods to the student population and increase distribution.